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D.E.F.E.N.S.E. Permanently MIA

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teddy green on Mar 4 at 3:23
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The question is to whether Ed Stefanski is using the same type of cost benefit analysis in contemplating as to whether he should fire his friend Eddie Jordan? We all know that Stefanski will be factoring his personal self interest first while making that decision...

I reversed the scores on that last rotation in the chart, they were -2, not plus 36.

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bebopdeluxe on Mar 4 at 6:50
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Well done, Brian. I agree with everything you said. Why would ANY player who hates EFJ do ANYTHING to try to win a game?

What is more frightening - that the other two Eds do not see this dynamic taking place every night on the floor...or that they DO see it, but choose to do NOTHING to stop it?

The guys who have the ability to actually win games on this team have totally checked out. Dre doesn't take verbal shots at his coach, but his actions on the court say it all: Why the eff should I play for this clown? Sammy - quicker to hit the quit button than most anyway - is at the same place. Same with Elton, who now mercifully has an excuse not to suit up.

Meanwhile, guys like Lou think this is just swell. Don Nelson has a place for you on his bench Lou. We can all chip in for your plane ticket. (The worst thing about Lou is that he actually can guard the ball when he's really focused on it. Saw it for about 10 minutes in the Spurs game. Like EJ, it's just not a priority for him.)

Losing, and losing bad, is really in the team's best interest now. The lottery implications are secondary - this is such an underwhelming draft. But with every pathetic performance, the players reinforce the message that they won't play for this guy. So it's all to the good.

At this point, my biggest worry is the impact this is all having on the young guys. Jrue seems like he has his head on straight but who knows what he's thinking about his first season? Thad and Speights are the real concern. Both have taken a step back, but both are also still really young. I wouldn't write off either at this point - there is a ton of potential there - but they are going to need help. And some incentives to play the right way. (I love how AI9 drops that phrase every chance he gets.)

Got great tickets to this game last night in Atlanta from a client and headed over against my better judgement. Couple of observations:

- This team has officially tuned out Jordan. In the shootaround, they generally avoided Jordan and not a single player came over to talk to Jordan. During the timeouts last night, they just kind of stood around not paying attention to what he was drawing up. I would be pretty stunned at this point if Jordan isn't fired at the end of the season. You can't just have a team where almost every player has tuned out the coach.

- Lou Williams is a loser. Pretty harsh statement but no pro athlete should be beaming and ecstatic about putting up 30 pts while his team is getting drubbed and he has been horrible on the defensive end all night. I don't think it is a wild accusation to state that Williams was more concerned with talking and putting on a show for several of his friends/family who were sitting right behind the 76ers' bench.

- Why Willie Green continues to be a fixture on the floor for the 76ers the past several years amazes me. Now rationale for the amount of minutes he has gotten over the years. None.

- This team has become unwatchable. They just don't care anymore at this point and my bet is that they rack up a bunch of Ls from here on out. This team doesn't care about what happens to Jordan.

- There is plenty of criticism though that belongs on the players. They just didn't exert much effort on the defensive end.

I think that Jordan plays Willie G because - in his mind - he is one of the only players who actually gives good effort for him these days.

A sad reality, to say the least.

Jodie Meeks update:

7 G
4 DNP
9 minutes
1 pt

Complete non-factor like you usually see with most 11th man on the roster.

Brian - I agree with you to a point about the player's responsibility. Sadly, I think you have a bunch of players on this team (especially Williams and Spreights) who think they should be starters getting big minutes yet don't seem to be willing to do a single thing in the offseason to improve themselves. Even a guy like Young who I thought might be one of the building blocks on this team has taken some steps back this year. Young has seemed to looked more comfortable and played much better coming off the bench this year.

underrated part of meeks deal is that the 2nd round pick is going to be very valuable this year.

nice

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JohnEMagee reply to Shawn on Mar 4 at 10:53
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It's valuable for the bucks, yes

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The Greek on Mar 4 at 10:17
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We should set up protest outside sixers headquarters, I would love to give Stefanski a piece of my mind.

Sadly, I don't think they'd care.

What they will care about is a revolt by the season ticket holders, though. I'm talking record-low renewals, and feedback as to why.

i feel bad rooting for another team while it's still possible for the 76ers to make the playoffs, so i'm just biding my time until they are mathematically eliminated. then i can root for another team for the rest of the season/playoffs. it kind of makes me sick, but i am RAGED about this season. everyone in the organization, from ownership to players, are saying FU to us fans. it's time for me to say FU back. Thanks Eds, thanks Dre, thanks Lou et al, for forcing me to turn my back on the team that i've been avidly following since I was a kid.

SO - once the 76ers are eliminated( maybe they already are? i don't know), which team are you going to root for, going into the playoffs?

I'm far too bitter and loyal to root for another team. I usually pick teams to root against. Probably the Celtics, I'm just hoping for a monumental collapse from them and a first-round exit from the playoffs.

brian i think it would be fun to root against whoever the bucks are gonna face.

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JohnEMagee reply to joeykey on Mar 4 at 10:54
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I've sort of stopped rooting for anything really - i'm just focused on lottery standings and predicting how the various teams do each week - pretty much all i got going right now :)

Its much more important than this team showing any signs of life.

Usually tanking is abhorrent. But this is not one of those times. The future of the franchise is at stake.

It is as simple as this:

A new coach, GM and trades will not get this team headed back towards greatness. Only a high lottery pick has a chance to do that. Of course there are no guarantees, but I'm fairly certain that a 9th pick will not land us a star that starts the turn-around. And if they bounce back to .500 ball next year with a new coach- they will have even less of a chance of reshaping the franchise anytime soon.

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Mar 4 at 11:05
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However

a high lottery pick with the same GM, coach, no trades and cheapish (relatively) ownership won't help as much as it could

But long term, teams with superstars win. Even if it takes lousy ownership a while to wake up and get them a decent coach and GM.

The season is over.

Probably the single most annoying part was actually the 5 game winning streak, or more accurately the BS "playoff run" crap that wafted from the coach and GM during that stretch.

This might not be a star studded draft, but they are 9th right now, and 2 wins ahead of 4th. 4th get you a 38% at a top 3 pick- which could be franchise saving.

IMO, everything else pales in comparison to whether or not the Sixers can draft a future superstar. Even Jordan is a secondary issue. I'd much rather suffer now and get a star, then have watched a good coach lead us to 41 wins.

You land Wall or someone else who goes on to make this team relevant for the next 10 years and the Eds will just become another Greenberg/Davis memory. I gladly take a year of Greenburg/Davis and then Lucas in exchange for AI. Sometimes you have to bottom, and lousy coaches/GM's are often part of that.

But somehow they will end up 9th. They will beat the Magic the last game of the year (with everyone resting) and they will miss out on the only positive that could come of this season. Somehow we will have the worst of both worlds. We will stink but still not have a good shot and landing a star.

That makes me much angrier than any of Jordan's BS. I know what to expect from EJ, and nothing he does now surprises me.

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Mar 4 at 11:20
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Orlando currently only has a 2 game lead over the hawks...i wouldn't pencil in an irrelevant game for the magic just yet

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Charles Shackleford's Top Hat reply to tk76 on Mar 4 at 12:17
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TK you said it. 4th gets you a 38% chance at a top 3 pick. That has to be the only goal.

I do believe EFJ will be fired at the end of the year. If not, we really need to turn up the heat on big Ed. I think Big Ed is not totally inept, he's made some boner moves, but i have to believe he knows these guys have quit and as brutal as it is to watch it probably is the only way you lose enough to get to that 4th spot. Big Ed, if you are reading and i think you are, please send us a sign if this is your strategy and put us all at ease. Where a hat with a feather tomorrow night or something that tells us, the remaining diehards that you know EFJ is a boner and you know the team has quit on him and that is all part of the new plan to TANK and get a 38% shot at a top 3 pick.

Send us a sign, Ed. We deserve it after have to suffer through this pitiful year.

CSTH

I'll die with laughter if Ed Stefanski shows up wearing a pimp hat tomorrow night :)

You guys just love slamming Lou. No matter what. Defnese is definitely a problem for this team. and the blame goes all the way around. Like it or not lOu is the best offensive weapon this team has and he is nowhere near the defensive liability that Thad and Speighs are. Your blog is pretty good other than the fact that you go out of your way to slam Lou at every opportunity while giving a pass to Thad and praising Jrue for marginal performances.

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JohnEMagee reply to c on Mar 4 at 14:44
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Like it or not lOu is the best offensive weapon this team has and he is nowhere near the defensive liability that Thad and Speighs are.

He scored 30 points and the sixers were STILL outscored by over 20 when he was on the floor last night.

Yes it's great that lou scores points but if you give up more than you score - you're useless

And Lou does that consistently

ANd more importantly he doesn't seem to give a rats ass that his defense sucks or his team is getting killed as long as he gets his.

Let's see

Jrue Holiday - in league for less than a season
Lou Williams - in league for how long?
Thad's been criticized most of the season but you have your agenda that we all pick on lou so that's irrelevant to you.

Lou williams is a nice bench player, a sixth man on a team that is already contending, on the sixers, he's useless

To be fair, I did name Lou player of the game.

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Mar 4 at 15:00
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But with snark and hate in your heart - you know it's true :)

My biggest fear with Lou is that this year is a mirage and he will shoot 42% next year.

I'd be 100% fine with that if the mirage led to a bump in his perceived value and we were able to trade him this summer. He could shoot 42% for the rest of his career for all I care under those circumstances.


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